CLOSE to 3,000 learner drivers failed to turn up for their tests in Cork last year.
According to figures from the Road Safety Authority, 2,798 motorists did not attend for their tests at the three Cork test centres in Mallow, Cork city and Skibbereen between January and December.
They accounted for 11.57% of applicants.
1,954 failed to show at the test centre in Cork city, while 619 failed to turn up in Mallow.
A further 225 did not turn up in Skibbereen.
"When someone doesn’t turn up for their test they are denying someone else the opportunity to secure a test appointment," Spokesman for the Road Safety Authority, Brian Farrell, said. "Many of these candidates failed to turn up because they are simply booking a driving test in order to apply for the renewal of their learner permit.
"The RSA would appeal to any candidate that cannot attend for their test appointment, to please contact the RSA and let us know if they cannot attend for a driving test by phoning: 1890 40 60 40. In this way, the test slot can be allocated to another candidate on the cancellation list."
In recent weeks, former Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen became embroiled in controversy after it emerged he had been detected drink driving while driving on a provisional licence, at the age of 49, four years ago.
“As with any public service the cost of no shows isn’t just a financial cost to the State it precludes someone moving up the list and getting their own driving test completed,"
Labour's Deputy Sean Sherlock said.
"There is a significant backlog in Cork and I have repeatedly asked the previous Minister and new Minister to provide extra testers and get those people who need to drive for work and education sorted.”
The figures have been revealed to The Echo ahead of the restarting of testing for car drivers next week.
Bus and lorry driver testing started back at the end of June following the lockdown for Covid-19.
To help deal with the crisis, the National Driver Licence Service said that all driver licences which were due to expire between March 1 and June 30 were automatically extended by four months, as were learner permits.